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Monday, August 16, 2010

What deed must I do?

I'm obsessed with perfection.  This morning I had my whole family do a "practice run" of our new school morning routine, complete with timers so that we could somehow create that chaos that will inevitably ensue each morning.  Once we were all fed, dressed and prayed up, they lined up and walked to the van at the appropriate time, giving me some satisfaction in knowing that we can do this.

School starts in a week...

It's my opinion that the rich young man in the Gospels (Matt 19:16-22) approaches Jesus in the same way. He wants to make sure that he is doing absolutely everything he can to secure his own perfection and ultimately his eternal happiness.  However, you get the sense that Jesus in His mercy is required to give him a task, "go sell all that you possess", so that the young man has something tangible to work toward.  As I continue to struggle into this intimacy with God, I have found that most of the time it is not about the deeds I'm performing, but about the disposition of my heart.

"Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" has the right intent, but it is the wrong question to ask.  Jesus answers the question, but only because the young man wasn't ready to hear the whole truth, "get rid of everything else you love and love me."

Lord, as you perfect me, teach me how to love you more than all my stuff, my good deeds, my identity, my religion, my work, my family, my dreams.  Help me to see that there is only one deed that you ask of me, to fall more madly in love with you everyday.

originally posted on Holy Irritations

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